We were thrilled to have Jonathan L. S. Byrnes, author of Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink, in Milwaukee yesterday to speak at our latest LeaveSmarter* event, held on the third floor of the breathtaking Grohmann Museum. Jonathan’s book won’t be released until next month, but Portfolio was kind enough to provide us with some copies in advance, and Jonathan was kind enough to sign them. An autographed book wasn’t the only thing the attendees left with, though.
Mr. Byrnes, a senior lecturer at MIT, dropped a lot of knowledge on the room, telling us that, “In almost every company, including leading ones, 30-40% of the business is unprofitable by any measure,” and that “20-30% is so profitable it provides all the reported earnings and subsidizes the losses.” He has advised more than 50 major companies and studied many more, and has found these numbers to hold true in almost every case. But he has also uncovered ways to turn the situation around, which he explains in great detail in his book and was able to cover with surprising depth (given the amount of time he had) yesterday.
Jon sat down with him after the event and asked him a few questions.
For the majority of you, unable to attend yesterday, don’t despair… we will have the video of the event itself available for you soon and Jonathan’s book, Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink, comes out on October 14th. Until then, here are some pictures and video from LeaveSmarter* with Jonathan L. S. Byrnes.
*We began our LeaveSmarter series in 2006 to bring nationally recognized business thinkers and their books to our hometown. M&I Bank approached us soon after the first event to discuss partnering with us on the series and, along with local law firm Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, they have been the series sponsor ever since. If you’re interested in partnering with us to create a future event, let’s talk. You can contact me at dylan[at]800ceoread[dot]com.